my beautiful yard is a disaster!!

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Karenann, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. Karenann

    Karenann LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    My once beautiful grass is almost non existant. We have about an acre near Long Island sound, very shady and we deal with a fair amount of moss. After raking the last of the leaves I am shocked at how awful our yard looks. We had a significant drought this summer and the yard was trampled by my 2 young sons and Whitney, our yellow lab. Then in the fall we had a solid 8 days of rain which seemed to wash the remaining grass away leaving us with a yard full of mud. My husband raked the top layer and seeded, but we have not seen any results from that. What can I do over the winter to give the yard some hope. Any suggestions for this winter or spring planning would be appreciated. We are embarassed at how bad it looks, but at a total loss as to what we should do.
  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Can you post some pic's of the area you are talking about?It would help if we could see it before giving advice on it.
  3. John B Laidlaw

    John B Laidlaw LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    Growing turf ( grass) in shady areas is a challenge. Also, the reason for the shade could be an indication to why your grass is not surviving. Certain types of trees can inhibit the establishment of roots and when a severe natural event takes place such as drought or flood, away goes what is there.

    Now that it is winter, there is really not much you can do but try to prepare for the spring. Dertermin your soil type by collecting soil samples, to the best of your ability this time of year, from several spots within the area in question. Call your local extension number and ask for a reputable soil testing service. They may even do this for you free.
    Determin the types of trees that are in the area. Are they maples or oaks or black walnuts?
    Assess your usage of the area. Turf is a ground cover and certain types of turf are more resilient to traffic then others.
    Over the winter read some books on the subject and ask questions of the professionals in your area. This is the slow time of year for most of them and they will be happy to try to get your business.
    Also, offer the pro's here on Lawnsite more info, that way we can give more specific advise. Good Luck!
  4. TennisBum

    TennisBum LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    Just throwing seed on the ground is an excellent way to waste money. You need to core aerate and then seed. Had you done this, I expect you would be seeing good results. You can still do it early Spring. Use a good quality seed. I've had excellent results from the Rebel line. Don't forget the starter fertilizer.:waving:
  5. JWTurfguy

    JWTurfguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327


    Sounds like you're having some trouble...maybe I can help.

    As I'm sure you realize, this late in the year is a little late to try to grow new grass, so you've got all winter to plan out your attack for next year. The comment John made is correct--growing grass in the shade can be a challenge, but obviously you've done it in the past, so it's not impossible. It would help, however, if you could get some branches trimmed at least. It would certainly help you grow healthier turf and it would cut down on the moss, as well.

    Anyways, I would go down with a blend of fescues in the springtime--wait until the end of April when things start warming up. Fescue takes a couple weeks to germinate, even with regular irrigation, so be patient. You'll want to skip your crabgrass preemergent step that you might otherwise do at that time--just go with a good starter fertilizer instead. Rebel seed is ok. Lesco seed is about the best you're going to find. For a good fescue blend, I would recommend their Shade Seed Blend. Your closest Lesco store is in Guilford. It just opened this spring and it's right off exit 59 on I-95 so it's pretty convenient for you. As far as getting you on some sort of program for the rest of the year, the sales associates there would be happy to give you help.

    Just bear with them....Lesco is in business primarily for the professionals. So they're wholesale, not retail. Without being rude, if they're busy, they may have to ask you to be patient while they help the contractors first. As a Lesco employee, I know that can seem a little rude to you as the customer, but they've got to take care of their primary business first....

    FYI--all winter long, unless it's snowing, those guys are bored out of their minds. Now's a great time to pay a visit and pick their brains.

    Any other questions, feel free to email.

    Stratford, CT

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